Uganda National Teachers Union on Wednesday suspended the countrywide teachers’ strike for 28 working days.
James Tweheyo, the UNATU Secretary General announced the suspension of the strike on Wednesday afternoon. According to Tweheyo, UNATU has reached a compromise with government, which has committed to further negotiations on the teacher’s pay rise.
Prior to the suspension, UNATU had made proposals to the government, which among others 20 percent increment effective January 2014, 35 percent increment in 2014/2015 if they are unable to get the 20 percent in this financial year or swap the 20 percent this year with 15 percent that should have been for the next year.
According to Tweheyo, the government requested for more time further discussions and negotiations to iron out the issue. He said that having carefully studied the government position and seeing the will to engage the union in meaningful discussions, the union decided to suspend the industrial action for the next 28 working days;
He however warned that should government fail to honor its promise, they will resume the industrial action without any further warning. Government has welcomed the decision by the union members to suspend the strike.
Barbara Nekesa Oundo, the state minister for Karamoja affairs, who represented the education minister Jessica Alupo at a press briefing at the media centre, said the move comes a great relief.
She urged parents and guardians to send children to school without further delays. Nekesa also urged head teachers to adjust school time tables to accommodate the lost time.
She also appealed to the teachers to concentrate in covering the remaining syllabus so that pupils and students can perform well. It is yet to be seen whether the government will honor its agreement, considering that it broke the same agreement it had reached with the teachers two years ago.